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West Coast Times. AND WESTLAND OBSERVER. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1871.

Judging from the proceedings of the Borough Council at the election of iMayor last evening, the Corporation of Hokitika would stem to be in a moribund condition. The position of Mayer with all the honor and dignity appertaining to the office, had apparently but little attraction for those who might be supposed to ho heat qualified for it, and the civic mantle was eventually placed on the shoulders of Mr J. B. Clarke. Mr Hawkins certainly did permit,himself to become a candidate also, hut it was evidently only as a forlorn hppe, fo save the Borough from the infliction which was about to be imposed upon it. ' Perhaps, after all, the' selection was only what the citizens merited. If they will return J. B. Clarkes to tha Council, they must expect that by the turn of the wheel, a J. B. Clarke may become Mayor. Henceforth, it wi|l bo well for the ratepayers to look to whom they elect as Councillors with a thought as to the probable result. This is probably an aspect of the matter which has not hitherto presented itself, but haying noTv become evident, it should be borne in mind, and acted upon. Mr Macfarlane went so far an to say that it was to he supposed that the citizens considered every man whom they returned as a Councillor to be fit. to become a Mayor. That may be very true in the abstract, but the proposition has not presented itself hitherto in bodily form. The citizens who voted for Mr J. B. Clarke, worthy as they may have deemed him to represent them in the Borough Council, never conceived that they were choosing him as their Mayor ; that result was acbioycd for the municipality by the ojfcher oounci}lors, for the future, however, thai contingency must b,e taken into account. A lesson has been taught which should be learned, unless it is intended that the office of Mayor in Hokitika should become a .degradation instead of an honor. The better course would no doubt be to obtain such an alteration in the law as would confer upon the citizens generally privilege of electing their Mayor. It is noifc yer-y easy to find nine men in Hokitika willing- to serve as Councillors, all of whom styall he fjit for tb.e higher position of Mayor, and such a result as has now occurred may he looked for at any moment. A proposition was made last night by Mr Tait for an appeal to the citizens, but independently of its illegality, the course

proposed could scarcely be expected to answer the purpose intended. The ratepayers would not caro to vote on the question, and the Borough Council could not be bound to the result. The only solution of the difficulty is to remove from the Borough Council the power of electing the Mayor. A stronger evidence of the unfitness of that body to exercise that function could not have heen exhibited than that which was furnished last evening, and that alone should be sufficient to deprive them of a privilege which they dp not know how to exercise with propriety. It may however be that the mem hers, conscious of the approaching dissolution of the Council, have flung into the seat of honor the one amongst them least fitted for it, as if in very mockery of such dignity as might have been deemed to ■appertain to it. If the Borough Council is to die out, ,it matters not who fills the office of Mayor for the next three months, but otherwise, it will be well for the citizens to hear in mind who Wpre the Councillors who, refusing the office themseiyes, were the means of placing into it a gentleman whose qualifications are so utterly unsuited to the position.

The business of the Resident Magistrate's Court, yesterday, consisted of two cross charges of assault between two persons named Butler and Murphy respectively! In the fi,rs|; PPP Better complained against Murphy, and in tho second case Murphy complained against Butler. Both informations were dismissed.

At a meeting of the Borough Council, held last evening, Mr J. B. Clarke was elected Mayor for the term yet unexpired, in the plgce of Mr M. Higgin, who resigned the office, " '

The San Francisco Mail arrived at Nelson last Saturday morning, but when it will reach here is utterly uncertain.

A case of death by alcoholic poison occurred yesterday morning under very distressing circumstances. The deceased was J,he wife of Carl ltohloif, a baker in Hokiti^a, y»o j§ generally resn.ec.ted |qv his industry and good character. Mrs Kohloff, who was addicted to drinking, had it appears by the evidence adduced at the inquest, got possession of a bottle of brandy, and had taken the whole of it. The husband was away at work at the time, and the son, a lad pf about fjftcen years of. age, thinking that his mothpr was only laboring under ordinary intoxication, did nob call in assistance in time to prevent a fatal result. The medical evidence given at the inquest proved that death was the result of congestion of the brain, caused by the enormous quantity of alcoholic liquor which the deceased had taken.

Mr Frank Westqn has been co.mp.eHed b.y illneis to postpone his entertainment at the Town Hall until to-morrow evening.

The Grey Siver Argus says : — "The longpending dispute between the Couuty Chairman, the Chief Surveyor, and the District Surveyor, Mr Cooper, has been finally settled by Mr Cooper receiving his dismissal f ron^ thp seryicc. T-his, iiesqlt h,as been brought about in this manner. After the report of the Commission of Enquiry into certain charges brought ngaiast Mr Cooper, not one of which was proved, he was reinstated in the service, and immediately thereafter re-* I ceived instructions to proceed to Boss. As this was the origin of the whole quarrel, and which Mr Cooper had previously refused to do, he naturally repeated his refusal, when he was dismissed. It does appear on the face •of all the facts of the oase that Mr Cooper has been very badly treated by the County Government. He has been bandied about from one to the other, and all through the vacillation of Mr Lanraan, who does not appear to know his own mind for two days .together."

A meeting of Grey mouth residents was held on Monday night, at the Albion Hotel, for the purpose of taking action to secure the construction of a road over the Saddle. A committee was appointed to communicate with Mr Harrison by telegraph requesting l}im to urge upon $he Ministry the necessity which exists for the immediate construction of a dray road from the Ahaura, through the mining districts to Reef ton, and also to communicate with Mr Curtis trith regard to expenditure of the £1000 voted for this road by the last session of the Nelson Provincial Council. The meeting adjourned until Thursday night, when the roply will be oqq? qidered.

A fatal accident, through which two Chinamen lost their lives, occurred at Ca.pt, Mackenzie's Ford, Fomahaka, Qtago, on Thursday week, It appears that dipt. Mackenzie keeps a punt for the purpose of conveying foot passengers across, and while one of his men named David .Wine, was taking two Chinamen across on the abovenamed day, the punt got broadside on to the current, and immediately filled and sank, breaking the wire by which it was worked. The Chinamen leaped into the water and were drowned. Search has been made along the banks for the bodies, but without success. One of the swags and some blankets have since been picked up by a shepherd and given to the police.

The Wesfaort Thms says. ;— " The north beach is no\f imdepgoing a rapid Qbauge for the better. On Thursday at low water a bank was distinctly visiblo extending from the point of the north spit to some distance ; but on Friday the change was most marked, the depositof sand having become sufficiently great to extend the line of beach at low water fully 200 yards further seawards. The reaidents in the vicinity, and indeed the entire community are oTerjoyedat their sudden and most unexpected improvement. The beach promises to make with eren greater rapidity than it disappeared ; and although its so doing cannot repair the mischief already inpurred, it will relieve the anxiety that has been felt fqr the past fifteen months with respect to property situate in the vicinity of the beach."

At the conclusion of a criminal trial at Wellington lately, the prqsecutor, fearing an action for false imprisonment through the prisoner having been discharged without the

case going to the jury; inquired of thlittdge what, the probabilities were on that head. : His Honor replied that there was a ptJpular ( idea in the public mind, similar to what he ' had noticed in drafts of acts of Parliament, that the judges should be popular lawyers. Although .he was not bound to answer questions of the kind, he informed the prosecutor that her might rest safe from the fear that an action would be brought against him. In the Bruce Standard Mr J. L. Gillies complains that during his absence at the Provincial Council, " some person or persons have maliciously and industriously circulated j reports regarding me of a grossly libellous character." Mr Gillies expressed his determination "to teach scandal manufacturers and scandal-mongers a lesson which they will not forget in a hurry," and intimates that he has instructed his solicitor to proceed against all and sundry against whom he can find evidence. The nature of the libel referred to does not transpire.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

West Coast Times. AND WESTLAND OBSERVER. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1871., West Coast Times, Issue 1864, 20 September 1871

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1,611

West Coast Times. AND WESTLAND OBSERVER. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1871. West Coast Times, Issue 1864, 20 September 1871

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